How can I make my report look professional?
February 5, 2012 10:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out how to make a report look fancy. I don't have extremely high expectations - I just want to create photo footers at the bottom of each page like this (and I have two photos, so I want to alternate). I have photoshop, I have the report (in MS Word), I have the photos...I just can't, for the life of me figure out how to do it. Help?

If you have any other suggestions, that would be great as well!

Extra points if you can tell me how to ensure the page numbers stay in and how to make the photo fade in so the transition from page to footer isn't as abrupt. Thank you!
posted by arnicae to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Well, if you want bleed (no visible white on the bottom of your pages - photo going straight off the page) you're either going to have to print on bigger paper and cut it down or have access to a printer that can print bleed edges.

If you just want to put a graphic or something that'll look good even with the white border at the edges and bottom of the paper that most printers generally require, you can either combine it all together or do it in two steps.

Combine it all together - get the footer into the document itself.
Two steps - print the paper with the footer image, and then print the word document with page numbers and text on top of the paper.

For someone not terribly familiar with doing this type of thing, I'd imagine the two step method would be easiest. And that it'd be easier in Photoshop. But there are many different ways to do this using both or either program.

So for Photoshop, if you want it to fade in, you select the image and go to Layer, Layer Style, Gradient Overlay, and then pick Foreground to Transparent, switch the colors on both sides to white, and switch the two sides with each other because the default is to have the fade out at the bottom and not top.

Then you position it how you want on the paper, print the paper, and then put the paper back in *you need to know how to do that so the orientation is right to print again - test this if you're unsure* and print your report over it in Word. That's what I think the easiest solution would be for someone who doesn't want to fuss too much with Word image placement.
posted by vegartanipla at 11:07 AM on February 5, 2012

If you just want to insert the photos in the footer, in Word: Open Page Setup. In the Layout section, set header/footers for "Different Odd and Even." Open the footer. Insert picture. Set the picture layout to "behind text." That won't fade it or anything, but it gets the photo in there.
posted by gemmy at 11:12 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Adding to gemmy... if you can photoshop the fade into the pictures before you put them in the footer... you're basically at your goal.
posted by one4themoment at 11:41 AM on February 5, 2012

That's true only if you want the presized Word footer arrangement, and I think staggering two different ones might also make Word a little twitchy. I mean, I know it can be done in Word, but for ease I think the two-part method is still better unless you really know how to get Word to behave.
posted by vegartanipla at 3:39 PM on February 5, 2012

I haven't tried this, but couldn't you put a text field in the footer with the picture as the background, and just do the usual page numbering auto text on top of that? You could fade the pic in Photoshop, as has been suggested.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:54 PM on February 5, 2012

Well, I did just try it, and it works nicely. And yeah, "Different odd and even" or what have you. Ten minutes' work and you're done.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 4:00 PM on February 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the ideas! The finished product will be a PDF, not printed, so unfortunately vegartanipla's solution won't work for me. I'll try the other ones, thanks!
posted by arnicae at 7:14 PM on February 5, 2012

Ha, sorry for assuming you needed to print it. The bleed issue won't matter at all then, and obviously, yes, you do want it all in one document.

Like I said before, Word will definitely work. It's just a little persnickety with images is all.
posted by vegartanipla at 9:33 PM on February 5, 2012

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